Keeping a journal is nothing new but recently it has become a go-to self-care intervention for many people. To find out if journaling really is good for you, we gathered together the latest research from psychologists, counselors, psychotherapists and more.
Here’s what we found.
What journaling can do for your health
Journaling is often used as a tool in mental health counseling to help people better understand and cope with their experiences. It can also be used as part of a healthy morning routine or as a way to relax before bed.
There are different types of journaling, all of which can be beneficial in slightly varying ways. The main types of journaling include:
- Journal writing - using words and sentences
- Visual journaling - using both art and writing
- Video journaling - recording and watching videos
Visual journaling has been reported to be more satisfying than other types of journaling while journal writing may be more effective at improving social relationships. However, according to experts, whichever form of journaling you choose, the important part is to do it regularly. Journaling is most beneficial when it’s used as part of a system of healthy habits.
Here are some of the benefits of regular journaling.
Increase your self-awareness
According to counseling specialists, journaling can open up an inner dialogue that helps you connect thoughts, feelings and actions. Writing helps to turn stressful events into a clear narrative, which can help you to understand your experiences better. This can increase self-awareness and growth over time.
Reduce stress and anxiety
Journaling has also been found to be an effective stress reduction technique for students and workers. People have reported fewer depressive symptoms and lower levels of anxiety as a result of regular journaling. Journaling can also help to reduce negative emotions and make it easier to deal with stressful life events.
Improve your life-satisfaction
One form of journaling, known as gratitude journaling, includes writing about what you are grateful for or making a list. Gratitude activities like gratitude journaling have been linked to higher levels of self-esteem and life satisfaction. A range of studies have also found relationships between gratitude and greater feelings of optimism, hope and happiness.
Practicing gratitude can also improve your relationships with others and your sense of social support, as well as giving you more resilience and ability to cope in difficult social situations.
The benefits of journaling
Journaling can be a useful tool for helping to improve your self-awareness and self-esteem, while also increasing feelings of satisfaction and optimism. At the same time, journaling could help you to manage stress and anxiety.
The best part of journaling is it’s completely free! There’s no sign ups or special classes needed. Just grab a pen and paper and get started to see if it works for you.